2017 Healthy School Hero: Deborah Feinsinger
Teacher, Health & Wellness Program Coordinator
For teacher Deborah Feinsinger, working to create a healthy environment at Allamanda Elementary School in Palm Beach Shores, Florida comes naturally.
“Living a healthy life is how I tackle every day,” she explains.
On weekdays, Feinsinger’s alarm is set for 3:30 a.m. so that she can fit in a workout before heading to school; on Saturdays, she typically runs more than five miles in order to prepare for various 5K community races, which dozens of members of the Allamanda Running Club participate in alongside her.
The Running Club is near and dear to Feinsinger’s heart. When she first started running six years ago, she got hooked on the feeling she got when she crossed the finish line. She started the Running Club the following year— her first venture into school health and wellness. The club has since grown to include more than 75 members.
“I love watching the children cross the finish line every race and running into former Allamanda Running Club members at the community races,” she says. “Knowing they can continue this for a lifetime is what drives me.”
Another new passion of Feinsinger’s inspired a different club. Two summers ago, she joined the social golf organization Woman on Course to learn the sport, and she loved it so much that she asked her principal if she could start an after-school golf team at a local golf course. The Allamanda Golf Club is now in its second year and growing.
“The game of golf is impacting the lives of my students by providing an education that builds character, instills life-enhancing values and promotes healthy choices,” she says. “This year we added tennis as an off-campus club. I have 18 students who can’t wait to get out on the court!”
Now the school’s health and wellness program coordinator, Feinsinger is always thinking about and planning for upcoming initiatives. Her latest project is hosting the school’s annual Health and Wellness Food and Fitness Olympic Expo. She typically invites more than 30 community members to share their best healthy life practices and sets up stations to allow students, families and staff members to participate in food tastings, karate, dance, health screenings and much more. In March, Feinsinger will sponsor Allamanda’s 3rd Annual “Strive 5 for the Hive” 5K race at a local mall. More than 300 runners from the school and the community participated last year, and she hopes to register 500 this year.
Feinsinger is constantly looking for ideas and resources for new programs and events, and she appreciates that Action for Healthy Kids’ mission is so in line with her own.
“AFHK promotes healthy schools by providing children with the opportunities to live a healthy life,” she says. “That is exactly what my goal is at Allamanda.”